Review: Miguel comes back to Detroit more zen than he left it

Aug 30, 2018 at 8:19 pm
In the six short months since Miguel last visited Detroit, he has seemingly transformed from apparent sex guru to a spiritual guru — and his current “Ascension“ tour is bearing the fruits of his enlightenment. Where the “War and Leisure“ tour served as an escapist wet dream, Wednesday night's show at Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill felt more of a psychedelic meditation, with Miguel preaching mindfulness, acceptance, and, sure, a little bit of sexual healing.

Miguel started the show by descending to the stage in a god-like matter. Backed by a full live band and three angelic background vocalist-dancers, he started out the show with a “What’s Normal Anyway”/”Criminal” mashup, setting the stage for his brand of sexually charged consciousness that defined the show.

The crowd was slim for the 3,000-person amphitheater, and it took the audience a few songs to warm up to the singer's cult classics. Behind Miguel, a myriad of psychedelic imagery lit up the stage and he made sure to confirm the audience was up for the imaginary acid trip. “Are we vibrating to the same frequency now?” Miguel asked the crowd before performing a brand new, unreleased song, “Python,” which followed in the suit of his catchy phallic-analogy songs like “Banana Clip.”

However, Miguel took the opportunity to step outside his usual area of expertise and address issues outside the bedroom. For instance, the singer introduced his other new song by opening up about putting on a facade. “I want to tell you man, I’ve put on a front before,” he said. “I’ve lied to people to their faces about how happy or how good I feel, when in actuality, I felt like shit.” Stars! They’re just like us.

After playing his second new song, Miguel went on to woo the audience with his usual crowd pleasers, but made sure to stress that everyone enjoy themselves in a respectful manner. Before singing his seductive hit, “Come Through and Chill,” he sent out a warning to the men in the audience: “Please keep your motherfucking hands to yourself unless you are invited.” What’s hotter than consent?

Another enlightened topic Miguel brushed was letting go. “Let go of all the conscious things that get in the way and let the let the subconscious things take control,” he said. “That’s when you’ll find the real beauty.” Clearly, Miguel has been doing some real zen soul searching and wants to share his finding with his fans, and they are here for it.

He closed the show with a medley of songs from his earlier years, appealing to his die-hard fans and taking requests from the audience. When the show was over, everyone left feeling a little lighter — and perhaps a bit more woke.

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